AUTHOR: Marty, a.k.a. canape TITLE: Sleepover DATE: 6/02/2007 11:23:00 PM ----- BODY:
Lovely is having a sleepover tonight. There is a little girl in her grade at school who we shall call Pickle. No reason. I just think it's a good name for her.

Pickle has Downs. She is two years older than her class, but is completely mainstreamed into the fifth grade. Lovely says that lots of people are mean to Pickle, but they shouldn't be. Pickle is nice, and she's funny. I asked her why they were mean to Pickle and Lovely shrugs and says, "I guess just because she's different. That's not really a reason though."

It stands to reason that Pickle doesn't get invited to a lot of sleepovers. Lovely said that Pickle was beside herself at school on Thursday. And as it got closer and closer to time for Pickle to come over, Lovely also got really excited. She told me that she really thought I would like Pickle, and that she wanted Pickle to meet me. One of my best friends in elementary school was mentally handicapped, and Lovely and I have had many conversations about Pickle and my friend. I think it is awesome that Lovely is friends with Pickle.

So Pickle is here. And boy is she a trip. In Pickle you have, a best friend, a food critic, a giggle box, a Disney trivia whiz, and basically? The most delightful little girl (next to Lovely) I have met in a long time. I have known plenty of people with Downs, and I know that they are generally very sincere people. Pickle is no different, but she has a wicked little sense of humor to go with her sincerity. It's quite a mix.

Most of the time, everything is literal with Pickle. When she was using her celery to just eat Ranch dressing out of a bowl at lunch, I jokingly asked her if she would just like to have a straw. She replied, "No thanks, I'm good." But if you listen closely, you'll catch her teasing you back sometimes.

Dinner was a huge success. Well, parts of it were. She thinks Guy is the best cook in the whole world because he grilled steaks for us. It was no big deal. When we asked Pickle what she might like for dinner, she said steak. And baked potatoes. And fried chicken. And calamari. We just chose steak and went with it. Her piece had some yummy fat on it, and she thought Guy made that happen just for her. Because Pickle loves her some steak fat.

The cobbler that she and Lovely made was her favorite thing in the whole world until she tasted a bite of it. The faces she made while trying to eat that cobbler were totally priceless. I finally couldn't take it anymore or I was going to bust out laughing. I asked her if she would rather have a cookie and she said, "Whew. Yes please. I'm not such a fan of this."

It's 11:30 now. I want to be sleeping, and I was headed that way when the knock came at the door. Lovely had come to get her dad. Pickle was crying and wanted to see him (Guy has been elevated to "funnier than my dad" status with Pickle).

Guy came back a few minutes later with a somber look on his face. I asked him if Pickle was alright. He said that she was, but that her grandmother had died.

"Oh, I'm so sorry. When did it happen?"

Muffled laughter.

"A year ago. But she still misses her."

Guy told her that he was sorry that she missed her, but if she wanted to come back again, she would have to go to sleep. I thought that was a little harsh, but deep down, I just giggled at how she got him to come in there to see her one more time. Stinker.

Good night, Pickle. You are one funny kid, and you can come back to visit any time you like.

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Andria DATE:Sunday, June 3, 2007 at 4:27:00 PM EDT aww... that is really sweet that lovely is not judgemental... i know a lot of little girls can start being snooty at that age. you and guy must be doing something right with her :) does lovely know anything about the baby yet? or are you waiting until after 12 weeks? ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Mamma DATE:Sunday, June 3, 2007 at 5:55:00 PM EDT I LOVE when kids look beyond "different" and see the real person.

Lovely sounds amazing. Not that I'm surprised. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Liz DATE:Sunday, June 3, 2007 at 8:37:00 PM EDT What another great post!

I never had many sleepovers when I was Lovely's age. But this sounds like the kind I would've gone for! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Ally DATE:Sunday, June 3, 2007 at 9:13:00 PM EDT This is such a great post. What a happy and uplifting story. Good for all of you for seeing past the exterior into the good in each person. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous gail DATE:Sunday, June 3, 2007 at 10:06:00 PM EDT You're gonna be the best mom- ever! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Jen DATE:Monday, June 4, 2007 at 12:08:00 AM EDT Lovely sounds like a lovely girl, I see why you call her that ;) It's an important life lesson that people are inherently the same regardless of their differences and we all deserve love and friendship, and that she's learned this so early in life makes me think she's well on her way... and she's got you, how lucky can she get? ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Amy DATE:Monday, June 4, 2007 at 10:49:00 AM EDT Okay, first off, LOVING the name you chose. Just makes me laugh every time I read "Pickle."

Second, what a sweet kid to not care that her friend has Downs. I know what I was like at that age and I'm amazed by her.

Third, I love that she has a slight "crush" on Guy. So great. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Mom Ma'am Me DATE:Monday, June 4, 2007 at 6:36:00 PM EDT I love this story. Young friendship is so wonderful, and Lovely sounds like a true friend. (I'm sure she takes after her mom!) ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous FENICLE DATE:Monday, June 4, 2007 at 8:59:00 PM EDT I worked at a camp for several summers in college and children with different disorders and such came each week. My favorite week was Camp Highlight - children with down's. They were always so loving & so much fun!!!!

Glad your daughter has made friends with Pickle. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Oh, The Joys DATE:Wednesday, June 6, 2007 at 8:44:00 PM EDT Lovely is just truly lovely, isn't she?! ----- --------